The Associated Press

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- Schools in the Patriot League have deferred a decision whether to offer scholarships for the students who play football across the conference.

In a statement released Wednesday, the conference's leadership says it decided to put off a decision for at least two years "pending deliberations'' that relate to the league's strategic direction.

Founded as a football-only league in 1986, the Patriot League became an all-sport conference in 1990 and includes American University, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, the U.S. Military Academy and U.S. Naval Academy as full members.

The schools can, and do, provide athletic merit aid in the league's 22 other sports, but football has always maintained a need-limited approach.

Fordham University, which offers football scholarships, and Georgetown University compete in Patriot League football as associate members while Army and Navy are independents that play in the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.